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December 14, 2017

By Sarah Bryan Miller St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Saint Louis, Missouri (December 14, 2017) – Elizabeth Gentry Sayad was a founder, co-founder, board member, trustee or driving force for many of the St. Louis region's cultural, historic and academic institutions.

Mrs. Sayad, a lifelong resident of St. Louis, died Tuesday (Dec. 12, 2017) of congestive heart failure at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She was 83.

A concert pianist and author, Mrs. Sayad was involved in the founding of the New Music Circle, New City School, Missouri Arts Council, the Ste. Genevieve-based French colonial preservation group Les Amis, the Shepley Music and Arts Program at Christ Church Cathedral and other organizations, and served on the boards of others. She received the Missouri Arts Award in 1991 and the Missouri Humanities Award in 2004; and received an honorary doctorate of Arts and Letters from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The only child of Elizabeth Estes Gentry and William Richard Gentry, Mrs. Sayad "was one of the great forces of St. Louis," said her son, Gentry Sayad. "This is a woman who has driven boards of directors all over the area. Just the number of things that she did with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Laumeier Sculpture Park, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Repertory Theatre is amazing."

"Elizabeth was a fantastic person," St. Louis Art Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin said. "She has been deeply involved here at the Art Museum for most of her life, but in a formal capacity since 1995; she was a commissioner for nine years, and in 2005 was voted an honorary commissioner. She was a constant presence, and a larger-than-life personality."

Benjamin noted that one of her ancestors, Gen. Richard Gentry, was painted by George Caleb Bingham; a promised gift from Mrs. Sayad and her son, it's on display at the museum. "She was a great lover and advocate of the arts in general. Her Christmas party was the invitation of the season; she always sat at the piano and played Christmas carols."

Mrs. Sayad was a seventh-generation Missourian, and well-informed on the early history of the region, particularly the French settlements of the Mississippi Valley. "We have a long history of family in St. Louis," her son said. Post Road and Long Road were named for Mrs. Sayad's grandfathers. The family donated what is now Gentry Park and the Payne-Gentry House to the city of Bridgeton.

Said Emily Rauh Pulitzer, who worked with Mrs. Sayad often: "She was a force in the founding and early days of the New Music Circle, when there wasn't much other new music presented in St. Louis. She was very hospitable, outgoing and generous."

Gentry Sayad said that his mother and late father, Homer E. Sayad, were "a team" in many of their endeavors. One of those was the founding of the Shepley Music and Arts Program at Christ Church Cathedral. William "Pat" Partridge, canon precentor at the Cathedral, said, "They wanted to open the doors to the Cathedral to welcome and support young talent."

He added, "Elizabeth was a very forward-thinking dynamo of energy; she knew everybody, and everybody knew her. She knew how to lead, always for something good."

In addition to her son, of Shanghai, China, Mrs. Sayad is survived by her daughter, Helene Elizabeth Todd Sayad of St. Louis, and two granddaughters.

A funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, 6345 Wydown Boulevard; a reception will follow at the St. Louis Woman's Club, 4600 Lindell Boulevard. Burial will be private. Read more…

June 25, 2008

Consul General of France names new Honorary Consul

(June 25, 2008) – St. Louis (June 25, 2008) – After serving for more than 17 years, St. Louis lawyer James F. Mauzé (Ottsen, Mauzé, Leggat & Belz, L.C.) announced that he is retiring from his duties as the Honorary Consul to France to pursue his law practice and other interests and to give others the opportunity to serve. During his years of service, Mauzé was instrumental in encouraging relations between French leaders and Missouri business and governmental leaders; facilitating the bilateral foreign trade process; and ensuring that each new French Ambassador to the United States and Consul General of Chicago frequently visited the state. In addition, Mauzé was also responsible for performing different diplomatic duties and other services.
Due to Mauzé's retirement, St. Louis native James A. Cooper has been appointed the new Honorary French Consul in St. Louis by the French Government. Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, Consul General of France in Chicago, announced that Cooper will officially assume his duties and responsibilities on July 1 upon approval by the U.S. Department of State. Mauzé will become Consul Emeritus.
Cooper is co-founder and managing principal of St. Louis-based private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners. As Honorary Consul of France, Cooper will be responsible for diplomatic duties and services to the French community in Missouri

"Jim Mauzé has done a wonderful job serving in this role, so I have very big shoes to fill. My focus will be to continue his good work, providing for the needs of French citizens and visiting French governmental officials with a focus on sustaining the economic development between Missouri and France," Cooper said.

Cooper currently serves on the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation Development Board and is a member of the foundation finance committee. Jim also serves as a member of the University of Missouri MBA Advisory Board. Read more…

February 7, 2008

The Only French Colonial Village Left in the United States

(February 7, 2008) – Washington, D.C. (February 7, 2008) - Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Ste. Genevieve, Missouri to its 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Since 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across the United States that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and commitments to historic preservation, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.

One hour south of St. Louis, is the thriving community of Ste. Genevieve, whose charm and ambience is rooted in its singular collection of 18th century French colonial structures-a concentration greater than anywhere else in the United States.

The town boasts more than 150 pre-1825 structures, many of which are open to the public, including gems such as The Bolduc House (1785), The Amoureaux House (1792), the Felix Vallé State Historic Site, built in 1818, and the 1806 Guibourd-Valle House with its Norman style trusses. Visitors can also tour the historic Memorial Cemetery where many of Ste. Genevieve's distinguished early inhabitants are buried.

"The treasure trove of French colonial life preserved in Ste. Genevieve provides an incomparable look into the pioneer spirit of the early settlers," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "History truly comes alive in this vital town and its Gallic charm beckons you to amble through the streets and journey back in time."

"Here in Ste. Genevieve we understand the value of our historic and cultural resources, both because they reflect our community's unique identity, and because of the importance of heritage tourism to the local economy," said mayor Richard Greminger." "This designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation complements the Trust's active support of flood protection for Ste. Genevieve."

The well-preserved architecture of Ste. Genevieve is complemented by other area activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will find Ste. Genevieve and the surrounding area a great place for hiking, fishing and visiting a variety of state parks. Within an easy drive are Hawn State Park, Hickory Canyon Wildlife Refuge, Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area and Mark Twain National Forest. In addition, Ste. Genevieve's quiet streets turn lively with a wide variety of annual special events centered on the historic downtown area By celebrating the King's Ball in February, Garden Walk in May, a French Heritage Festival in June, Jour de Fete in August, and the Le Revillion and La Guignolee in December, Ste. Genevieve blends its rich Gallic history with its contemporary community.

The 2008 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:

Aiken, S.C.-Aiken seamlessly balances its varied 19th century heritage with cosmopolitan flair to offer all the necessary ingredients for a great vacation.

Apalachicola, Fla.- Apalachicola, an authentic coastal town renowned for its mouth-watering seafood and singular charm, features a waterfront dotted with fishing vessels, a downtown filled with eclectic shops and streets lined with historic buildings.

Columbus, Miss.-The birthplace of prize-winning playwright, Tennessee Williams, Columbus thrives on its extraordinary mix of Southern history, natural beauty and culture-with antebellum homes spared during the Civil War and historic tours showcasing the remarkable impact of the African American community to a revitalized Main Street that possesses great curb appeal.

Crested Butte, Colo.-One of the most charming vacation destinations in the Rockies, this former coal mining village is a recreational paradise that offers a rare mix of rugged beauty, history and adventure no matter the time of year.

Fort Davis, Texas-With no traffic lights or chain stores, Fort Davis is a gateway to an unspoiled terrain, offering an extraordinary blend of majestic scenery, abundant wildlife and cultural resources that bring to life the history of the 19th century western frontier.

Friday Harbor, Wash.-This small, well-preserved community in the San Juan Island chain is one square mile of perfection-an antidote to city life, ideal for outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Portland, Ore.- Boasting both the charm of a small town community and the urban vitality of a big city, Portland, Oregon is a dynamic destination that offers an alluring mix of natural beauty, lively downtown entertainment and landmark historic attractions.

Portsmouth, N.H.-This elegant seaport, the nation's third oldest city, is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country with its captivating blend of coastal beauty, historic buildings and lively downtown.

Red Wing, Minn.-Conveniently located one hour south of the Twin Cities, this handsome historic town features a treasure trove of architectural gems dating back to its beginnings as a riverfront trade point as well as an enviable natural environment.

Ste. Genevieve, Mo.-One hour south of St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve is the only French colonial village remaining in the United States, providing an unparalleled glimpse into the pioneer spirit of the early settlers.

San Juan Bautista, Calif.-Known as the "City of History" because of its exceptional collection of Spanish colonial architecture, San Juan Bautista showcases Old California like no other.

Wilmington, N.C.-From riverboats to battleships, grand old mansions to historic museums, splendid gardens to Civil War sites-Wilmington, North Carolina has a charm and style all its own that dates back nearly three centuries.

This is the ninth time the National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced a list of Dozen Distinctive Destinations. To date, there are 108 Distinctive Destinations located in 42 states throughout the country. To see a complete list, visit In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town's character and sense of place. Whether by enacting a local preservation law to protect historic buildings against demolition, rewriting zoning codes to prevent commercial sprawl, removing regulatory barriers to downtown housing, making downtown areas more walkable, enacting design standards, or taking some other major step that demonstrates a strong commitment to their town, residents have worked hard to preserve the historic and scenic assets of their communities, with rewards that transcend town limits. Read more…